Christian Doppler Laboratory for Allergy Diagnosis and Therapy
Type I allergies, which comprise a wide range of IgE-mediated disorders such as hay fever, asthma and atopic dermatitis, represent a major and increasing health problem that affects more than 25% of the European population. This increase in prevalence of allergic diseases has been paralleled by a greater demand on diagnostic and therapeutic products.
Systems for recombinant production of allergens and techniques for gene manipulation offer unique tools for the development of novel molecule-based products to be used in diagnosis and allergen-specific immunotherapy (SIT). Based on these observations, we aim to produce a panel of well-characterized recombinant allergens for diagnosis of allergies caused by Cupressaceae (Cryptomeria, Cupressus, Juniperus) pollen, which are important source of allergens worldwide. For SIT, we plan to design and engineer hypoallergens for Cupressaceae pollen allergy. In addition, molecules suitable for SIT of patients sensitized to Fagales pollen with associated food allergies, and of patients co-sensitized to mugwort and ragweed pollen will be developed.
In a parallel approach, we will take advantage of the unique features of the genetic immunization method and will develop a panel of allergen-gene vaccines. These newly designed DNA vaccines against whole groups of allergens will be optimized concerning immunogenicity, anti-allergic activity and improved safety.